Hand washing with soap can prevent illness and saves lives. Take a look at our 10 tips for hand washing.
- Washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of time to sing Happy Birthday twice) is recommended by health experts to eliminate most germs on your hands.
- Diarrhea and pneumonia are among the top two killers of children under 5 years. By washing your hands with soap you will reduce the likelihood of contracting diarrhea by half and respiratory infections by one third.
- Hand washing with soap keeps kids in school. The more childhood illness, the more days at home with Mum & Dad away from their friends & education.
- Statistics tell us that 4 out of 5 people don’t wash their hands after the toilet . . . . Do you want to go and wash your hands right now?
- Set an example for your kids, evidence tells us that the patterns set early in life will be repeated as adults. Include regular hand washing in your child’s routine.
- A sneeze can spread thousands of bacteria filled droplets. If you don’t have a tissue, turn your head and sneeze into your elbow. Teach this to your kids for sneezing and coughing, it will help prevent the transmission of sickness and disease, and they won’t need to wash their hands as often.
- Germs can survive on things you touch for hours. Household items such as door knobs, hand rails and toys should be wiped over on a daily basis if someone in the house is unwell.
- It is easy to frequently touch our eyes, nose, and mouth without realizing it. Germs can get into the body through our eyes, nose and mouth and make us unwell.
- Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing your hands with soap removes germs much more effectively.
- Germs can be found in the most unsuspecting places, Dr Chuck Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, studies how diseases are transferable through the environment. His studies have found that your kitchen chopping board, mobile phone and computer keyboard have more germs than your average toilet seat! (See this BBC article) Which is another good reason to include hand washing in your routine.
When should I wash my hands?
- After using the bathroom
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before and after changing a babies diaper or nappy
- After coughing or blowing your nose
- After touching pets or animals
- When your hands are dirty
- Before and after changing contact lenses
- Before preparing baby formula
- Before and after visiting someone who is sick
- After touching raw meats like chicken or beef
- After contact with any body fluids like blood, urine or vomit
Public Health Expert Dr Myriam Sidibe talks about Hand Washing at TED- ED
Dr Sidibe presents an inspirational talk about hand washing with soap as a cost-effective measure against the transmission of pneumonia, diarrhea, cholera and worse. Sidibe makes a smart case for public-private partnerships to promote clean hands — and local, sustainable entrepreneurship.
Soap Saves Lives – Global Hand Washing Day Infographic
Clean The World talks about the benefits of hand washing.
Maree has over five years of experience in Occupational Health and Safety and in the development of safety standards, training workshops and improvement initiatives. She is passionate about health, safety and education. Maree, a mother of two children, has a Advanced Diploma in OHS and will be graduating soon with a B.Sc. (HSE) from Australia.